Gwen on the West Coast Recipe Reviews (Pg. 5) - Allrecipes.com (11786415)

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Authentic Thai Cashew Chicken

Reviewed: Dec. 3, 2009
This is great. I did modify slightly to add vegetables. I used fresh organic veggies and organic free range chicken from Trader Joes and this definitely tasted like a healthy meal. The veggies I used included broccoli, snow peas, one yellow squash, one red bell pepper, one yellow bell pepper, shredded carrots, crimini mushrooms, and an onion. I did things in a slightly different order than listed in the recipe. I heated the chili paste and then also minced some fresh garlic in the vegetable oil. Then I added the chicken. I cooked it until no longer pink and then added the broccoli and onion. I let those sautee for a few minutes before adding all the other vegetables. In addition to the sauce ingredients listed, I also added a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter, the juice from one lime, and some fresh cilantro. I omitted the sugar entirely as I did not think it was necessary. This was fresh and tasty. I accompanied it with jasmine rice. Thank you for the recipe.
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6 users found this review helpful

Chicken Pot Pie IX

Reviewed: Dec. 3, 2009
This is a perfect chicken pot pie. Tastes delicious! I made relatively few modifications: 1) instead of milk, I used 1/2 and 1/2; and 2) in addition to celery salt, I added poultry seasoning, garlic salt, and onion powder to the milky chicken broth. I also sprayed the bottom of the pie dish so the crust wouldn't stick. This was perfect - thank you for the recipe.
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4 users found this review helpful

Spicy Basil Chicken

Reviewed: Dec. 1, 2009
This was quite tasty. I followed all the directions except 1) I reduced the quantity of oyster sauce (5 tablespoons is a LOT), 2) omitted the salt (the oyster sauce has a salty flavor), 3) I added two cups of haricot vert for extra vegetables, and 4) instead of using chili oil, I just used a 1/2 teaspoon of Sambal Oelek red chili paste with regular vegetable oil. But the taste is great. Very good recipe.
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2 users found this review helpful

Stir-Fried Chicken With Pineapple and Peppers

Reviewed: Oct. 25, 2009
This creates a nice and tasty stir-fry. I used fresh pineapple (I don't think canned pineapple tastes nearly as good). I omitted the corn starch as I don't like the way it tastes and I also added some chopped fresh baby button mushrooms. I think the fresh pineapple is what makes the flavor so refreshing and tangy.
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3 users found this review helpful

Plum and Ginger Chicken

Reviewed: Oct. 22, 2009
I enjoyed this recipe. I did modify the recipe as using the corn syrup would definitely make it too sweet. I omitted the corn syrup and threw in (in addition to the mushrooms and snow peas) some chopped carrots and a red bell pepper. The flavor is nice but it doesn't blow my mind. I had a lot of sauce left over.
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2 users found this review helpful

Asian Coconut Rice

Reviewed: Oct. 22, 2009
I liked this rice very much. It does create a quite subtle coconut flavor. With regard to proportions, you basically should do what works for you. I used 1 and 1/2 cups rice (washed), one 14 ounce can of light coconut milk, one cup of water, a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. It came out perfect. Next time I will top it with toasted coconut like the last reviewer recommended. I paired it with a stir-fry dish.
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2 users found this review helpful

Company Couscous

Reviewed: Oct. 22, 2009
This is an awesome couscous recipe. I made the following changes: (1) I used a whole red bell pepper (because I always want to add veggies to a dish) and it was perfect; (2) I cut the cherry tomatoes in half; (3) I used chicken stock instead of water to cook the couscous. I forgot to add salt and pepper and it still tasted great. It is awesome to find a flavorful couscous recipe because it can be a boring grain.
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2 users found this review helpful

Shish Tawook Marinated Chicken

Reviewed: Oct. 22, 2009
I liked this dish. I followed the directions. I think this is a very good dish if you don't have time to prepare the day of the meal because the only thing you have to do is make the marinade the night before and then just throw it in the oven. The flavor is not too spicy but intense - strong flavor.
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3 users found this review helpful

Lime Chicken Soft Tacos

Reviewed: Oct. 20, 2009
Delicious soft taco. I made the following changes: (1) Like many others, I omitted the oregano and used fresh cilantro instead (I'm pretty sure that the oregano referred to in the recipe is Mexican oregano, which has a very different flavor from Mediterranean oregano, which is what most of us are used to and have in our cupboards); (2) Instead of monterey jack cheese, I used crumbled cotija cheese (it crumbles very easily - you just slice it and it crumbles up immediately); (3) I added a dash of chili powder to the cooking chicken to add a little heat; (4) I increased the lime juice to 1 and 1/2 limes and also increased the quantity of garlic and green onions. So satisfying.
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2 users found this review helpful

Soldier Buttons

Reviewed: Oct. 20, 2009
This is a positively scrumptious cookie and it's very easy to make. I have the following recommendations. (1) The recipe calls for one cup of butter. Normally, when I am baking a cupcake or bread, I will substitute unsweetened applesauce for butter. I do not recommend that for this cookie, as it will not replicate the texture of the butter. I did, however, use 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 low calorie margarine. In terms of calories, butter and margarine both have around 35 calories and 4g of fat per teaspoon (however I did use Smart Balance, which is lower in calories and fat). I did this because butter adds the creamy texture but margarine keeps the cookie from deflating or spreading out too much and I wanted to maintain the hole in the cookie where the strawberry preserves were. (2) I created the hole in the cookie by sticking a butter knife in the top and rotating it (you can use your finger to perfect the well). (3) I stuck the dough in the freezer for twenty minutes before rolling into balls (the size of my cookie balls was between 1 inch and 1 and 1/2 inches). (4) For the quantity of jam to use, I used a very full (rounded) 1/4 teaspoon of strawberry preserves per cookie. I baked for 12 minutes and the cookies came out perfectly. I followed the quantities specified and wound up with 30 cookies. The flavor of this cookie is buttery and delicious. I love them. Thank you for the recipe!
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11 users found this review helpful

Sweet and Nutty Moroccan Couscous

Reviewed: Oct. 19, 2009
This was excellent. The problem I always find with couscous is that it lacks flavor and is hard to make really flavorful. But this recipe makes an often boring grain very tasty. I didn't have any dates on hand so I just increased the quantity of apricots and raisins. The toasted almonds are key - they add a very nice crunch and aroma to the couscous. Thanks for the recipe!
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2 users found this review helpful

Erin's Indonesian Chicken

Reviewed: Oct. 19, 2009
Thanks for the recipe. My boyfriend is half Indonesian and he grew up eating Indonesian recipes so of course I wanted to make sure I did his culture proud. He said this dish was just like one his mom used to make. I think this recipe can be simplified without affecting the taste. I skipped the step of steaming the green beans. Instead, once I had the sauce going, I threw the green beans in and they seemed to cook enough on their own. After the green beans were in there for a couple of minutes, I put the chicken back in and mixed it all up to finish cooking. I make my own version of rice. Finished off by garnishing with chopped green onions. This was great. I'll keep my eye out for more Indonesian recipes now that I know I can competently make them.
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3 users found this review helpful

Fresh Southern Peach Cobbler

Reviewed: Oct. 18, 2009
This is completely delicious! The only change I made to this recipe was that I only used 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder because I didn't want too cakey a cobbler. I also slightly reduced the quantity of sugar - maybe using only 3 tablespoons of white sugar and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. Also, I followed what another reviewer said and boiled the fresh peaches for 60 seconds before taking off the peel. It was definitely easier after boiling them to remove the peel but I also peeled a few with a vegetable peeler with no trouble. This cobbler tasted absolutely amazing. Both my boyfriend and I loved it.
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7 users found this review helpful

Quick and Easy Pancit

Reviewed: Oct. 18, 2009
This is an awesome dish. I loved it. Tasted just like something I would order in a restaurant. I pretty much followed the recipe exactly, but I also added a few chopped mushrooms and green onions as well. Also, I only used a 6 ounce container of rice noodles and I still wound up with ample noodles. I think that if you used a 12 ounce package of noodles that the proportions would be way off - you would have waaaaay too many noodles. I think the next time I make this recipe, I will also add some bean sprouts, as I think those would also work with this recipe. Thanks for the recipe!!
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3 users found this review helpful

Thai Pineapple Chicken Curry

Reviewed: Oct. 16, 2009
This is a very tasty dish. I read the reviews before cooking it, and I made the following changes: (1) I didn't know whether I had concentrated chili paste but I think I did - I used two tablespoons and it was a very spicy curry; (2) I used 1 1/2 cans of light coconut milk; (3) I only used one tablespoon of fish sauce - I think 3, given the fish sauce, I have, would be too much; (4) I used a full red bell pepper and a full green bell pepper; (5) I used pineapple from a can and instead of adding sugar, I just added the juice from the can; (6) I added an 8 ounce can of water chestnuts; (7) I followed what another reviewer said and heated a tablespoon of oil before adding the chili paste by itself and whisking it quickly until it frothed up. I ignored the rice instructions and just made the jasmine rice the way I normally do - one cup of rice to 1 and 1/2 cups of water. The sauce was perhaps a little thin; I doubtless could have thickened it with a slurry of water and cornstarch or flour, but I try to avoid doing that where possible. But it was a delicious curry. Next time I'll lower the chili paste to one tablespoon so as to take it easy on my mouth. I love a hot curry, and it was just at the limit of what I can eat.
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5 users found this review helpful

Honey Ginger Carrots

Reviewed: Oct. 16, 2009
This is a really nice recipe for carrots. I used fresh minced ginger. I think that the combination of honey, butter, ginger, and lemon is a really nice mix on the flavor palate. My boyfriend ate all the carrots on his plate and I don't even think he's that great a fan of carrots.
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4 users found this review helpful

Chicken and Mushroom Saute

Reviewed: Oct. 16, 2009
This is a nice straightforward chicken dish. I made the following modifications: (1) instead of using water and bullion cubes, I used chicken stock and I only used about 3/4 cup; (2) I omitted the cornstarch because I didn't really need it; (3) Instead of canned mushrooms, I used fresh chopped crimini and white mushrooms; (4) Instead of vegetable oil, I used olive oil; (5) I used fresh parsley instead of dried parsley; (6) Instead of just a flour mixture, I dipped the chicken in a mix of a little flour, poultry seasoning, pepper, salt, and garlic powder. It was nice, pretty easy. Not amazing but good.
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6 users found this review helpful

Busy Mom Peach Cobbler

Reviewed: Oct. 16, 2009
I did not really care for this cobbler. I think by melting the butter in the baking dish before putting in the other things, the end result was a cobbler with a greasy oily bottom crust. I will keep looking for the right cobbler recipe.
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5 users found this review helpful

Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Reviewed: Oct. 14, 2009
Delicious and not difficult. After reading the reviews, I also added a red onion (I usually throw in onion and garlic whenever I can). I used spaghetti just because that was what was available. I also used the oil from the sundried tomato jar (as another reviewer suggested). I toasted the pine nuts before adding them at the end.
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2 users found this review helpful

Chinese Spicy Hot And Sour Soup

Reviewed: Oct. 14, 2009
I'm so glad I found a recipe for hot and sour soup. I always love getting it in restaurants but never knew what ingredients created those spicy, sour, savory flavors. This recipe gave me the answer. I love hot and sour soup when I'm sick. Like everyone else, I didn't have tiger lily buds or wood ear mushrooms. Instead, I upped the quantity of shiitake mushrooms (I used raw mushrooms instead of dry) and also threw in a few raw crimini mushrooms. I used a full eight ounce can of bamboo shoots (drained). I'm not sure if I did the egg thing accurately, I don't think I did, but the flavor still came through. Mmmm, I love that spicy sour flavor - it is so satisfying. Now I can make this recipe at home for myself - Thank you!!
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